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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > ZJ Grand Cherokee Forum > Stuck trunk door

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Unread 05-31-2006, 01:19 PM   #1
bobdobolina
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Stuck trunk door

I've got a '96 (I think... close to '96 if not) Grand Cherokee. It's got over 250k on it and some major issues (the front/rear differential is borked up, and has been for 100k miles, so turning tight causes all sorts of bucking a squawking from the tires), so I really don't want to sink a lot of money into it.

However, this past week, the damn trunk door is stuck!

Ever since I got it a little over a year ago, it's been an issue. Basically, after unlocking the doors (it's got power everything), I've had to flick the trunk handle up repeatedly before it would finally unlatch.

Now, the thing will NOT come unlatched. I can turn the key and feel the mechanism unlock, but there is something else going on there... some other interlock.

I did notice this once this winter parked on a big incline (I was "making" a parking spot on a snow embankment) that the trunk would not open when the front of the car was pointed uphill any amount. Maybe I just need to park with the front of the car pointed downhill? =)

Does anyone know anything about suck a device; some sort of safety device so the trunk doesn't pop open while offroading?

I don't want to spend a ton of money taking it into the shop if there is something I can do. Pretty hard to fit my mountain bike in through the rear doors!

thanks!

Bob

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Unread 05-31-2006, 01:28 PM   #2
Bloodbath
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Is the handle loose? Try pulling on the right side of the handle to open it. Mine sticks sometimes and if I pull on the right (passenger) side it opens.

You may have to try to pull the inner panel off from the inside (it's a PITA), if you can't open it, to get in there and see whats wrong.
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Unread 05-31-2006, 01:30 PM   #3
bobdobolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IMDrunk
Is the handle loose? Try pulling on the right side of the handle to open it. Mine sticks sometimes and if I pull on the right (passenger) side it opens.

You may have to try to pull the inner panel off from the inside (it's a PITA), if you can't open it, to get in there and see whats wrong.
Aye; thanks. Doesn't feel loose, but I'll play with it when I get home. Sure hope I don't have to try and pull off the panel from the inside... with the door closed!
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Unread 05-31-2006, 01:33 PM   #4
Bloodbath
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If you do have to pull the inner panel, don't forget there may be 2 screws under the carpet part on the panel. You can feel around for the holes. They are towards the 2 lower corners.
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Unread 05-31-2006, 01:55 PM   #5
SpinTk
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yeah...something probably just came unhooked in there man. just take that panel off and you could probably locate the problem. But it sounds to me like you need to find a new whip...good luck
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Unread 05-31-2006, 01:57 PM   #6
Varkyl
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To let you know that the hopping that happens when you turn, that is not the differentials. It's a part in the transfer case called the viscous coupler.
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Unread 05-31-2006, 02:08 PM   #7
Brian's 97 ZJ
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Ok, this may save you from shaving some skin off of your arms.

Take your key-fob and stand by the rear hatch. Unlock the doors and listen to see if the actuator is even trying to unlock the door. If it makes a whirring-snick sound that is good since the actuator is trying to work. No sound = bad news and you will have to loosen the interior panel to open the hatch.

Anyway, onward to the "fix"...

From my experience, the sliding lock mechanism in the hatch becomes rusty and will refuse to slide when you try to unlock the doors. I was able to get the mechanism to move by driving over (and over and over) some extremely bumpy railroad crossings while locking and unlocking the doors (mostly unlocking). Luckily I was then able to open the hatch, remove the trim panel and clean/lube the lock mechanism. Has been working ever since.

If this doesn't work for you then you will have to loosen the trim on the hatch (can't remove it while closed) enough where you can peek down inside. You will probably have to poke/rip/tear a hole through the plastic dust cover so that you can actually see the mechanics. Now that you can see down into the door and have a view of the latching mechanism you should see a threaded rod sticking up. Use whaever means you have to pull up on the rod and the door will open right up. A sacrifice of skin will probably be made to the Jeep Gods at this time.

HTH

- Brian
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Unread 05-31-2006, 08:09 PM   #8
spuddybuddy
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When mine did that a few months ago I found out that if you hit directly below the handle rather hard with the side of your fist while having the other hand pull the handle, it should pop open. Might take a few whacks to find the sweet spot. Then, pull the interior panel and adjust. I also adjusted the base that it latches into on the body.

Good Luck
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Unread 05-31-2006, 08:44 PM   #9
bryans 86
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yep i have to hit mine on the right of the handle i would try that if not you can just break apart the back plastic to get to the mechanisim and then go to the junk yard to get another one (if u want ... i run mine with out a panel ) thats what i would try
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Unread 05-31-2006, 09:58 PM   #10
micifus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dai_Ryu
Now that you can see down into the door and have a view of the latching mechanism you should see a threaded rod sticking up. Use whaever means you have to pull up on the rod and the door will open right up. A sacrifice of skin will probably be made to the Jeep Gods at this time.

HTH

- Brian
See if you can open the door first by pushing on the trunk door around the handle, there is a "sweet spot" where when pushed just right will allow you to open the trunk, this is why there is many dents in my trunk from when I punched it out of frustatation Its an easy fix for the most part sounds just like what happened to mine. That threaded rod sticking up is the key, when that lifts it opens the latch. You will notice that there is a metal clip on this threaded rod that is what slips and causes your latch not to open. you will want to loosen this poorly designed clip and move it further it up the threaded rod and then crimp the clip back on but, not to far other wise the latch will never latch and the trunk will stay open. You will see what I mean when you take that back panel off, and yes you will loose some skin in the process. Make sure you clamp it down tight cause you dont want to have to redo all of it. I drove mine around for about a month with the plastic panel off to make sure it was all set before putting it back on.
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Unread 05-31-2006, 11:07 PM   #11
Skyline
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I had this problem for a while, and I agree that a good whack above the handle while pulling up on the handle can make it open. Once open, you may need to adjust the position of the clasp on the bottom of the opening. I did have to replace my latch mecanism eventually; there's a plastic piece inside that can fatigue and make this problem get worse and worse.
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Unread 06-02-2006, 10:37 AM   #12
micifus
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ahhh yes the plastic pice too, for got about that. That can ware down or even break! not fun but, moving the clip further up the threaded rod should solve the problem.
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1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4.0L I6
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1970 Jeepster Commando 225 V6
32"x11.5" BFG A/T
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Unread 06-02-2006, 06:24 PM   #13
randyszj94
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my rear hatch wont open if u pull the handle... u hafta push the hatch in then pull up.... kinda weird.. also check the latch on the inside see if somthings wedge in there...
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Unread 06-02-2006, 09:07 PM   #14
PlatinumZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdobolina
I've got a '96 (I think... close to '96 if not) Grand Cherokee. It's got over 250k on it and some major issues (the front/rear differential is borked up, and has been for 100k miles, so turning tight causes all sorts of bucking a squawking from the tires), so I really don't want to sink a lot of money into it.

However, this past week, the damn trunk door is stuck!

Bob
Bob,
Try giving it a shove as if to close it. Mine sometimes act like the handle won't release, especially if something on the inside is pushing on the inside. a good shove on the outside seems to get it fully latched so it can unlatch.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 12:21 PM   #15
lionshooter
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Just fixed mine this AM. Took 10 minutes. Hammered it with my fist near the latch while pulling up. Bingo. Open. Removed latch assembly after removing inner panel. It was gunked up. Sprayed with parts cleaner, then graphite lube. Reassembled and it works perfectly.
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